LongAd-CLIL – A longitudinal corpus-based analysis of advancedness in CLIL: subject literacies, classroom practices and participant perspectives from primary through secondary education (2019-2021)
The purpose of this project is to explore the development of CLIL students participating in Comunidad de Madrid bilingual programmes from the end of primary and throughout the 4 years of secondary education, taking into account the effect of studying in either high- or low-exposure trajectories.
The main objective of this project is to investigate the development of CLIL students participating in Comunidad de Madrid bilingual programmes from the end of primary and throughout the 4 years of secondary education, taking into account the effect of studying in either high- or low-exposure trajectories.
More specifically, and drawing on the previous Trans-CLIL project, the present project will explore:
- the longitudinal development of high- and low-exposure track students’ academic language competence in various subject areas from grade 6 (end Primary school) to grade 10 (4th year ESO);
- high- and low-exposure track students’ motivation towards CLIL from a number of perspectives (subjects, teachers, classroom dynamics) by adapting a questionnaire developed in the Trans-CLIL project;
- high- and low-exposure track students’ participation in relation to classroom practices, by using the construct of semantic waves (Maton 2013, Rose, 2010, 2018) which captures the ways in which teachers’ scaffold knowledge by moving dynamically between horizontal and vertical or disciplinary language.
Building on the team’s previous work, this project will have implications for CLIL research, practice and policy. In particular, it will address improvements to bilingual education programmes to equip all young people with the knowledge and skills they will need for participation in learning, work and leisure throughout the lifespan.
The LongAd-CLIL project aims to move CLIL research forward by addressing three current needs:
- a greater focus on content and language integration;
- an analysis of participants’ perspectives towards learning content subjects through a CLIL approach, primarily students’ motivation towards CLIL (and not just to the second language);
- the need to observe classroom practices taking into consideration contextual and socio-cultural factors and identifying scaffolding techniques that allow students to understand abstract and complex concepts in a second language.
This project addresses these three needs as follows:
- Adapting tools already developed by the research team in past projects for the analysis of how learners integrate content and a second language in their spoken and written production. The combination of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Christiane Dalton-Puffer’s Cognitive Discourse Functions provides a useful tool to evaluate the expression of academic content knowledge, identifying clear areas of focus on language to boost the intersubjective process of learning content material (in L1 and in L2). The incorporation of content and language teachers’ assessment and comparison with the results of the application of the tool developed in the Trans-CLIL project will play a key role in verifying the validity of the tool.
- Refining a questionnaire already developed by the team in order to measure students’ beliefs and motivation towards integrated content and language learning.
- Adapting tools already developed by the research team in past projects for classroom observation, incorporating the semantic dimension of Karl Maton’s Legitimation Code Theory (LCT).
Relation to previous and current UAM-CLIL involved projects
The LongAd-CLIL project builds directly on the outcomes of previous research, most notably the previous Trans-CLIL project, carried out by the UAM-CLIL research group. It introduces three innovations:
- Content and language teachers’ assessment of the same texts using the approach of comparative judgement. This will be accomplished through the use of the platform No More Marking.
- Karl Maton’s Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) for the analysis of academic language competence, specifically through the semantic dimension, which models how knowledge is represented as, at one end of the continuum, abstract, where discipline-specific terms encapsulate hierarchical and often complex meanings, and, at the other, concrete, using more everyday language and concrete examples. LCT theorizes that the optimal pedagogy is one in which teachers use ‘semantic waves’ to move students from the abstract to the everyday and back to the abstract, scaffolding their disciplinary understandings.
- The comparison of Spanish CLIL students’ academic language production with same-age students in L1 contexts (UK) and CLIL students from other European contexts so as to distinguish general features of linguistic advancedness from those specifically related to the L2.